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  #1  
Old 08-08-2009, 07:00 PM
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Transitional longrifles


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I keep wandering back to the thought of one of these as a PRACTICAL hunting rifle. Jim Chambers has a nice Edward Marshall rifle. This one is from Pecatonica River and is more general in design.

http://www.longrifles-pr.com/transkentucky.shtml

I may be wrong in my assumptions but some imagined good points are...

a. Similar stock design to a Jaeger (Everyone loves how Jaegers handle) which would balance and handle well and handle some recoill. Have no clue how historically correct the stock is. A sling would be a plus for practibility if it is appropriate.

b. Shorter swamped barrel cutting weight but long enough to have a good sighting radius. 42" or 44" barrels on a larger bore rifle seems just overkillb and only 37" (or so) is enough to burn all the powder with a hunting load in a .58 caliber barrel.

c. Ablity to use a "larger bore" barrel because of the design features? That would put a big hole in big game thus putting them down quick without the nasty adreneline taste in the meat and having to track the animal far.



Such a rifle would have to be heavy enough to handle recoil well yet light enough to carry around for part of the day. The Jim Chambers rifle weighs 8 1/2 lbs. A disadvantage with the larger bore would be that it would not shoot as flat. The advantage would be a clear edge in energy.

Any thoughts about this? How far am I off?? Sorry for my rantings. I've been thinking about this for a long time.

Also thinking about the real practibility of a .62 caliber fowler or smoothrifle as an all purpose firearm of choice for hunting but that's another ranting. I'm curious just how less accurate it would be. It may be a tradeoff worth the trouble, maybe not.

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Old 08-09-2009, 06:39 AM
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I'd say your reasoning is quite sound. I'm happy with .50 and .54 calibers but if you prefer a larger bore I'd not argue. You are correct in that with comfortable loads the .58 and especially the .62 will be lower velocity and higher trajectory. That is why the jaegers often had folding leaf sights for different ranges whereas the later, smaller bored "Kentucky" usually got by with a single fixed sight for all ranges. I like the "point blank" range of the .50 & .54 caliber, being as I don't need to know exactly how far a critter is and aim accordingly, if it is within 125 yards I just aim where I want to hit.
There is a growing interest in fowlers and smoothrifles as the do it all gun. I really can't agree with that, not unless you are willing to limit your shots to about 50 yards. It seems that some smoothbores are able to hold 6-8 inch groups out to 100 yards but that is quite exceptional, six inches at 50 yards is more likely. There is good reason why rifles and shotguns evolved as two distinct types. I have fowlers and I have rifles and I don't expect one to do the job of the other.
I find it comical that some people are so enamored of the fowler as the one gun for all hunting. That same guy would probably not be caught dead with an H&R Topper single shotgun, which is the modern equivalent and in many ways superior to the muzzleloading fowler for use as an all-round gun. I have a 12 gauge Winchester pump with 22" smoothbore barrel, rifle sights and choke tubes which will hold S&B slugs into 6" at 100 yards. I could indeed get by with that as my only gun if I had to, but fortunately I don't have to.
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Last edited by CoyoteJoe; 08-10-2009 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:42 AM
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On second thought a .54 caliber would be enough for me since all we have here is deer. Some prefer the .58. caliber but I think maybe shooting slightly flatter would be a plus. I have a 12 gauge H@R Topper and I like it. I have had it since I was a kid. Very lightweight and balanced. My brother has one too. He stands out but when others have their clay target shotguns he uses the Topper and it works fine for him. I don't really need a fowler either. I have a 12 gauge Winchester 1300 pump gun for rabbits etc. It's what I know... Beagles, Winchesters, and fried rabbit gravy. I still like the looks of a transitional longrifle. I just may build one.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:15 AM
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If you like it , that's reason enough! I certainly didn't NEED the .50 caliber Bucks County longrifle I built last spring but I always admired that style and I sure am happy to have it.
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:12 PM
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Instead of purchasing a kit you may want to have a rifle built. Ken Netting (Ohio) has been building rifle for over 45 years and he will build any rifle as long as it is a "flintlock". Ken has a wealth of knowledge and is great to talk to. He is about 1 to 1 1/2 years out and all he requests as a deposit is barrel, lock and wood.

He built a super .58 caliber transitional rifle for my buddy "Clean Cut". Iron Mounted with 31" Colerain Jaeger barrel with Jim Chambers Early Germanic lock. Sorry that I don't have a close up of the rifle.

http://www.flintlocks.com/locks3.htm

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Old 08-12-2009, 05:34 PM
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The stock design is more important than the weight when it comes to the amount of recoil you feel. The transitional is better than the early but not as good as the Jaeger. I can't make the point about stock design and fitting any better than Mossburg has - go shoot a box of hot 1.25oz loads from a Moss 500 12ga with a plastic stock; don't stop after the first three when your cheek starts throbbing, keep on going till you're black & blue feeling like you picked a fight with a freight train locomotive rolling across west Texas. When you recover from the beating, you'll never forget why stock design and proper fitting is absolutely critical.

Balance is the next issue, went you get into a longer bbl, too much weight on that muzzle is not going to be a benefit unless you're the size and stature of Paul Bunyan. The total overall weight is another consideration, a 9-11 pound gun feels like 40-50 pounds after a couple hours of lugging it around.

You can stay with the transitional style and simply modify it slightly to make it more compatible with a .58 bore. Widen the butt, crown the comb a little and leave some meat on it; doesn't take a whole lot, just some tweeking will work wonders and keep the bbl on the light side.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:58 PM
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Could I use a 37" Marshall profile swamped barrel in a Jaeger stock or would that ruin the balance or make it too heavy? I saw one like this from a modern gunmaker and he called it an American Jaeger simply because of the longer barrel. I have looked everywhere for an example of a 3/4 stock Eastern European Jaeger like you mentioned but have yet to see one. There was a Russian Jaeger rifle but all were full stock.


Nice rifle Footman!
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:30 AM
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Bullseye,

I know I have some pic's of 3/4 stock rifles but I can't seem to locate them at the moment - I have thousands of pic's, at least multiple hundreds that seems like thousands.... There are some central European 3/4 stock styles; some people claim they're Russian, other claim them as Belgian style and others claim them as German origin but from what I've found is that they appeared in numerous regions including the USA at different times and as usual, numerous different styles so I don't get into the origin arguments.

37" bbl isn't bad, I was thinking you were looking at one of them 40-46" heavy wall swamped bbls that are like trying to balance and carry a Howitzer without getting the range & high exposive projo benefits.

I'm not familiar with the Marshall profile, depending on the actual weight of the bbl based on the wall thickness, you can still fudge a little by adding weight to the butt in either wood or ballast for balance if need be but the trade-off to that is dealing with additional dead carry weight.

34-37" bbls that don't have excessively thick walls tend to handle quite well in tapered or swamped, the only time they become an issue is with a thick straight wall profile. The American Jaeger's did appear with longer bbls and 3/4 stocks but retained the same basic robust butt and styling common to the Jaeger. I'd say that's a good choice.
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2009, 05:11 PM
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The Marshall is a "Christian Springs" school design. They aren't terribly heavy, and in fact, have wonderful balance. The lack of drop in the stock combined with the broad butt helps with recoil.

The Kentucky Rifle Association doesn't allow Jaegers to be displayed despite their ancestory of the "Kentucky Rifle". A couple of years back there was a display of nearly a dozen "Christian Springs" rifles, and possibly the most ever in one location.

The early rifles have better balance than later rifles, and are generally plain. Likewise, the early rifles are apt to be of larger caliber due to the fact that the makers were new immigrants, and the european guns were large caliber. Later rifles were fancier, so awfully gaudy, with less attention paid to function over form. Late guns often have a large amount of drop, straight barrels of small caliber, and point like a sewer pipe.

The "Marshall" is a good compromise between a Jaeger and an early Lancaster style rifle that still has great architecture and balance. If I were to build or have one built, I would opt for a .58 or a .62. The .54 is more than adequate for most game.

IMO, putting a 37" barrel in a Jaeger stock will yield an abomination. A 31" Jaeger should be a fine hunting rifle. The 37" Marshall or slightly longer early Lancaster Co styles are still pretty handy compared to a 42".

If you still have a "problem" with these early traditional styles, you might want to look into a 34"-36" Hawken whether it be halfstock or fullstock.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:39 PM
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My Idea of a Transitional American Longrifle

I like the shorter jaeger style rifle for getting around in the thick brush near my home. I had once owned a fullstock Hawken style flinter that really fit me well. It would shoulder with my line of sight all in one quick motion. Problem was the weight. That rifle weighed around 12 lbs and after a few hours in the woods it became quite a chore. I decided to build a lighter, shorter rifle utilizing the buttstock pattern\profile of the Hawken. I considered the Germanic early style in my planning, but only had access to maple for the stock wood. Bought a very nice oct to round 50 cal. tappered 34" barrel from Mark DeHass and a large Siler flintlock from Jim Chambers. I also went with jaeger double set triggers and Germanic brass furniture. This is what I ended up with. It is now my favorite all purpose hunting and target rifle. [IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]
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  #11  
Old 09-14-2009, 06:37 PM
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Nice looking rifle there!

This one here is not really a transitional rifle and was built in 1810. Did you see it yet?

http://littlegun.be/arme%20allemande...ernst%20gb.htm

Last edited by @bullseye; 09-14-2009 at 06:42 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-14-2009, 07:49 PM
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So Captjoel, what does that little beauty weigh? I'd guess that tapered round barrel would come in pretty light, maybe 7 or 71/2 pounds? Nice "mountain rifle" in the modern sense of that term.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:10 AM
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Ahh, very fine German flintlocks! There is a rifle pictured in George Shumway's book "Jaegers" made by one of the Pistor family members. Could be the same guy who made this example. CoyoteJoe, my rifle weighs just a hair under 8 lbs. It is more from the wide butt than it is the barrel wt. I made an adjustable sling for this one and it really helps to take the "load" off! I have to share with you fine fellow's my love for the traditional muzzle loading rifle\fowler. My wife calls it my obsession! I don't know what I like better, contemporary, original, Kentucky, German, flintlock, or percussion, it's all fun stuff. That black powder sure does get into your blood stream!

Last edited by Captjoel; 09-15-2009 at 11:35 PM.
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